Recently, my little sister has been applying to colleges. It's hard not to put my two cents in on the place I envision where her next four years would be. I know though that ultimately the decision is one that she must make for herself because, in the end, the experience is all her own. So to my sister choosing a college, this one is for you.
I envy the position you're in right now. You quite literally have the world at your fingertips and the ability to choose your destination of happiness for the next four years.
College isn't like high school. You see, high school wasn't a choice. It was part of the plan that came with where you lived and so are the people that go there with you. College is so much different. You are gifted with the presence of so many different individuals from many different cities, states and sometimes even countries. They all made a choice like you. One different from high school. One that allowed them the freedom to be where they are.
Four years in college is like a really long movie. There are ups and downs and definitely some climaxes, but even though the movie says it's going to be long, once you get to the end you can't help but want to replay.
Find a college that's worth the replay.
Find a place that speaks to who you are and who you eventually want to become. In four years, your entire life will change. You will realize your self-worth. The worth that no high school boy or award could give you.
You will make meaningful friendships that aren't strengthened by rumors and drama, but by support and adventure. You will seek to travel. You will find comfort in being alone to find yourself. You will find comfort being with others that will help you find you. College is like a growth spurt on steroids. You change so much in four years you have to wonder why it took so long to learn everything you knew before.
As a senior in college now, I only hope you find what I did. A place that I love that loves me back. I hope you find somewhere that gives meaning to the life you live now and your future aspirations. I hope you find somewhere with the best library to study for the hard exams. I hope you meet the friends that you deserve to have.
I found that all in a place I call home. Home is where your heart lies. It's not where I went or where you think you need to be. Home is where the comfort of leaving a life you knew seems easier because you know you will be in a place for YOU.
After four years, I can't help but cry. Not because I had a bad experience, but because I fell in love with a place that I got to choose. I fell in love with life as I hope you do too. The world is at your fingertips and I hope you make the next four years a world worth being part of and just remember home isn't about the house you grow up in. Home is about the love and laughter that bind people together.
We will always share one home already, but now it's time you choose a home for yourself.
I found mine. I know you will find yours. Don't sweat it.